UK and Australia ministers meet in Edinburgh to discuss security

Security is on the agenda as senior UK and Australian government ministers meet for talks.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson during the annual UK-Australian ministerial consultations at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. Picture: PA Wire

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will meet with Australian counterparts in Edinburgh.

The 10th annual ministerial talks between the UK and Australia will cover foreign policy, security and defence, the Australians said.

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In a joint statement, foreign minister Julie Bishop and defence minister Marise Payne said: “We will engage with our British counterparts across a range of foreign policy, defence and security interests.

“The annual consultations are an opportunity to identify areas where both nations can cooperate more closely in the pursuit of our shared interests including in our region, the Indo-Pacific.”

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The Foreign Office said: “The Annual AUKMIN talks are an opportunity to celebrate the UK’s historic relationship, and further strengthen our modern partnership, with Australia.

“It is a dynamic relationship which delivers for Britain across the breadth of foreign and security policy, extending into trade and investment, and people to people and cultural links.”

The meeting comes after Ms Payne pointed to future projects with the UK on Thursday as she visited the British defence giant behind a £20 billion warship deal for the Royal Australian Navy.

She joined Mr Williamson on a tour of the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow and said it provided the opportunity “consolidate the ability to work together closely decades into the future on this project and many others”.